Chromebook initial feedback - Chromebook Forum : Google Chromebook Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Chromebook initial feedback

So for those of you that have already received your Chromebook..... what is your initial feedback?

What are your top 5 "likes" .... and 5 things you "dislike" from a new owner perspective.

Also, let us know if you were a previous Google Apps user, or new user.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 01:13 PM
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After watching I/O and having some friends attend, and being near market for a new laptop, I figured this was a great time to try something new and expand my horizons trying to stay near that cutting edge. I got the invite for the Gilt presale and jumped on it. Glad I did. No tax or shipping, plus I've been playing with it now for over a week. Friends who attended I/O still waiting ;-) The rickshaw sleeve also was a nice bonus to help me get over the $499 impulsive purchase.

I use android and the chrome browser on my windows machines.
I've been playing with an ipad for a few weeks also.

Boots Quick as per all other reviews.
Seems to me like it's a tablet with a keyboard and without the touch screen.

I've been able to fly around online and do my google docs, gmail, yahoo mail, flickr, watch youtube. Right now I'm listening to music on a thumbdrive while the device is offline (I didn't think that could be done yet). Dropbox working great also.

I've had some trouble getting MS Office items into the cloud from email.
But I haven't tried all that hard.

Really what's most lacking for me, and what will convince me that I made the solid purchase (already convinced I guess, I just need the functionality to be able to solely rely on this device for work and travel etc.), is to get the Remote Desktop enabled. As I understand now, I need IT to install something to our server to allow me access from this device. I'd love to be able to take advantage of some "offline" programs I need for work through the web over the Remote Desktop ala windows.

My wife, of less technical experience and patience than I, has shared some frustration with the chromebook, but I think she's resisting change and will come around. It's different. Different can be challenging but rewarding :-)

Anyway, I was streaming Bonnaroo last weekend through the chromebook - the video/audio was a bit off, but for a live stream it came through well (only I noticed the lag)...was able to plug into my bose doc with the headphone out jack - bonus.

That's my knee-jerk - let me know if you have any questions - sorry I strayed from the top 5 thing - that would have been an easier reply to scan, but........
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 11:01 AM
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Chomebooks came out at almost the perfect time for me, my laptop/home computer (Toshiba 18.6" laptop running Ubuntu 10.04) died last Monday and I needed something to replace it. Chromebook mostly fit the bill for what I was looking for so I decided to take a chance to see if it would work as my only home computer. For the most part, I’m happy with it. It does what it does very good. Open it up and it's online and ready to go quickly. For general web surfing, it's the best laptop I’ve had. With the Toshiba, I would try to do most quick tasks on my phone so I would have to go through the trouble of turning it on, getting it online and such, now I just reach for the Chromebook. Basically, I love the concept and I do think that this is the future of computers. That said, this is an early version of both the hardware and software, so there is room for improvement.

-----------------------------------
Hardware:
1st of, Chromebook is screaming for Bluetooth so you don't have to plug in headphones.

Screen size, while I love the portability, if this is going to be my only machine, I need something a bit bigger at home. I hope that there will be some options in the near future for larger screens. A 15.5" widescreen format that's just as thin as this one would be awesome.

Processor. some of the reviews I read said that it would start to stutter if you had a bunch of windows open at once or tried to play HD video.....I've seen some of that and had some trouble trying to play a game (Mario brothers) when there was a lot of moving stuff on the screen....that's not good enough, the processor should be able to eat up HD content and games, so step it up.

While I’m on the subject of HD content, a micro HDMI out port like what you see on some Android phones would be great too.
-----------------------------------------------------
Software:
The file manager is crap. I understand that the idea is to use the cloud, but there are some files, I don't want in the cloud and I want to be able to manage them even if they are on an external drive.

Media player:
#1, it needs some improvement, #2 it needs to be able to play almost any format. I haven't messed with this too much, but I did download a short .wmv clip and was unable to play it on my Chromebook.

Netflix should be all over the Chrome OS, once they have a Chrome App, they won't be dependent on Windows DRM and Linux and Max users would be able to watch Netflix (win for everyone)
-------------------------------------
That said, I’m glad I have it, but it's not quite ready to be a standalone device so I'll be fixing up a basic desktop to fill in the gaps, but I’ll still turn to my Chromebook for most things.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 07:36 PM
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After about 2 weeks of playing with my Chromebook, here's my feedback

Likes:
- Performance is pretty good; boot and sleep/wake-up times are excellent
- Keyboard and touchpad are quite useable, even though multi-touch took some getting used to
- Synchronization across Chrome installations (extensions, bookmarks, passwords, etc.) works well
- Most online services work well: various email clients, Docs, Office Online, LogMeIn, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, Music Beta, etc.
- Battery life seems to be in line with advertised

Dislikes
- Lack of offline capability. Yeah, I know offline for Gmail and Docs is coming 'soon', but it was pretty stupid for Google to release Chromebook without it. We need offline Music Beta, too.
- Lack of Bluetooth. I miss being able to use a stereo headset
- Lack of support for WMA/WMV by the media player. MP3 and MP4 support is good, but I don't want to re-encode my library
- Inability to open documents via a single click, e.g, use Docs to edit a file stored on Dropbox or SD card. I wonder if offline-enabled Docs will be able to at least open files on the card

Overall, a good beta release, but hardly ready for mainstream. Not much (yet?) to offer over a capable tablet, especially when the latter is paired with a keyboard.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 03:41 PM
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Here's another slightly annoying missing feature. Being able to open 2 pages side by side. There's an app in the webstore, but it's really clunky....should be able to just drag the tab over 2 the side and have both tabs visible. I think you can do that in the windows version, but there you can just have 2 (or more) windows together on the screen so you don't really need it. With chromeOP you can only have 1 window so you need to be able to see 2 tabs at once so you don't have to click back and forth all the time.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 03:21 PM
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Items I am impressed with:
1. Really bright screen useful outdoors on sunny days.
2. Long battery life and fairly quick recharge, when required.
3. Super fast boot, further enhanced by all the applications running at shutdown running again at the end of the eight-second reboot.
4. Immediate restoration of operation following standby mode (either by closing the lid or using the Power button.
5. Multi-touch trackpad with two-finger scrolling.

Wishlist:
1. Keyboard, Delete, Home and End buttons.
2. More high-quality apps in the Web Store. Thousands of apps, but few business-related quality apps. I did install Scratchpad for small quick notes and SourceKit for HTML text editing. SourceKit interfaces very nicely with Dropbox.

The trackpad took a few days to get used to, but now I miss the two-finger scrolling when I go to other computers. There are times, though, when the cursor seems reluctant to follow my finger movements. It may be times when the processor is heavily loaded and it is just missing the trackpad interrupts.

I did encounter one minor bug. After several days use on battery, the battery meter went off into left field. The last time I looked before shutting down, the battery was at 41%. The next day after using it on AC power for about an hour, I checked the battery meter and it indicated 23% and stayed there for several hours. I powered the machine down and rebooted. Upon coming up again, the battery meter indicated 100%, as it should have.

Not related to the Chromebook itself, I am a heavy Google Apps user and the lack of off-line access to, at least, contacts and calendar makes it of limited use while travelling. I will soon be using it with Microsoft BPOS and will see how that goes.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbear View Post
Really what's most lacking for me, and what will convince me that I made the solid purchase (already convinced I guess, I just need the functionality to be able to solely rely on this device for work and travel etc.), is to get the Remote Desktop enabled.
This would indeed be a very nice thing. I've installed the latest compatible ChromeOS build on my Dell Mini 9 just to try out the OS, and see if I could in fact deal with being entirely on the web. I've found a lot of things missing, productivity wise, and I feel that if a good, stable Remote Desktop client existed to fill in the missing functionality of Chrome, I'd be sold. Unfortunately, right now a Chromebook wouldn't be a complete computer replacement, but would definitely be a nice laptop/netbook alternative.



As a side note for those of you with chromebooks: on my Dell Mini 9 Chrome build, native PDF/Document support is awful. Opening a document off my flash drive launches Google Docs, which then informs me that it doesn't have permission to open the document. I can upload the document to Google Docs and read it fine, but it's a bit of an annoyance. Is this fixed in the ChromeOS release builds? Thanks :]
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 01:08 PM
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On the Samsung Chromebook, it works just fine. The version information is:
Google Chrome 12.0.742.113
Chrome OS 433.231 (Official Build) stable-channel x86-alex

BTW, if it is using Google Docs to display the pdf document, it is completely hidden from the user.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWR View Post
On the Samsung Chromebook, it works just fine. The version information is:
Google Chrome 12.0.742.113
Chrome OS 433.231 (Official Build) stable-channel x86-alex

BTW, if it is using Google Docs to display the pdf document, it is completely hidden from the user.
I doubt it does. If it did use Docs, it would have been easy to make work for other doc types, like MS Office.
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